Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

Amy Scherzer's Diary: Opera Tampa gala nets $45,000

Opera Tampa Gala

Opera philanthropists Dr. Zena Lansky and Warren Rodgers honored Straz Center director Judy Lisi by sponsoring Saturday's Spanish-flavored Opera Tampa Gala hosted by co-chairwomen Lea Davis and Kathleen Casey-Shannon. The black-tie evening opened with cocktails on the set of Bizet's Carmen in Morsani Hall with Carmen herself, Alessandra Volpe. Dinner starred lobster risotto, tenderloin and basil gnocchi in the lobby where maestro Daniel Lipton proudly presented Opera Tampa singers to the 140 guests.

Due to illness, a video of baritone Thomas Hampson's career spanning 80 roles and 70 recordings had to suffice for having the 2014 Anton Coppola Excellence in the Arts award winner in person. Lisi read his letter of regret.

On cue, Aaron Fodiman played the role of auctioneer, helping get the gala net proceeds of more than $45,000, including two bids of $1,000 to conduct the orchestra through an opera dress rehearsal and read-through next year and three bids of $900 each for walk-on "super" roles in two upcoming operas.

Easter Seals' A Pair to Remember

Personal trainers, Realtors, firefighters and other suave gentlemen hammed it up for a tentful of ladies bidding on trendy shoes and other goodies at A Pair to Remember, helping chairwoman Kandace Lesher raise $43,000 for Easter Seals Florida.

The ladies lunch bunch found a silent auction and spa services when they arrived at the Tampa Yacht Club Feb. 28. Soon they were cheering with emcee Jen Holloway and the men — all outfitted by Scott Moore of Urban Body Clothing — as they strutted with shoes on a silver platter, paired with gift cards, airline tickets and golf packages. A pair of Burberry espadrille wedges, Botox and four nights in a Bahamas cottage was a hot seller at $2,000.

The male eye candy was fine, but how sweet it was to meet some children benefiting from Easter Seals therapy for infants up to age 5.

To Life, Florida Holocaust Museum

Co-chairwomen Lisl Schick and Marietta Drucker poignantly marked the 75th anniversary of the Kindertransport at To Life, the annual Florida Holocaust Museum dinner, a special evening for the two women who were among the 10,000 Jewish children transported out of Nazi Germany in that historic rescue. Concert pianist Mona Golabek shared the story of her mother's escape on the Kindertransport, performing excerpts from her show based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane.

Executive director Elizabeth Gelman welcomed the 450 guests mingling at food stations, a noodle bar and hot dog stand at the Mahaffey Theater on Feb. 27.

One special guest, Tampa police Chief Jane Castor, received the 2014 Loebenberg Humanitarian Award from Sandy Loebenberg Mermelstein. She cited Castor's legacy of treating individuals with dignity and respect, noting every Tampa officer takes a course on the ethics of law enforcement in a democracy.

     
   
Comments
Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

LARGO — At least 12 families leased the same Largo home at the same time and lost as much as $4,300 each in a fraud scheme run by a couple who portrayed themselves as owners of the property, Largo police said.Police learned of the scheme Tuesday afte...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Developer proposes Sprouts Farmers Market for Land O’Lakes

Developer proposes Sprouts Farmers Market for Land O’Lakes

LAND O’LAKES – A Sarasota developer is proposing to turn a vacant Winn-Dixie store in central Pasco into a Sprouts Farmers Market or similar specialty grocer.Benderson Development filed preliminary plans Monday with Pasco County to redevelop the form...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Column: I survived a suicide attempt and here’s what you should know

Column: I survived a suicide attempt and here’s what you should know

Twenty-five years ago, I was a reporter at WTSP-TV, out in the field covering Tampa Bay’s Independence Day celebrations. I expected an easy assignment talking about families and fireworks. Then the newsroom called with an urgent message: I needed to ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lawsuit against St. Pete alleges racial motivation in water official’s departure

Lawsuit against St. Pete alleges racial motivation in water official’s departure

ST. PETERSBURG — A former top ranking official in the city’s Water Resources Department is suing the city over his departure, claiming it was racially motivated.Dwight Wilson, the department’s former assistant director, says in the June 12 lawsuit th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a threat against St. Pete Pride weekend based on a social media comment left on a Tampa Bay Times story.A Facebook commenter used an alias to post the threat on a story about a pop-up gay club planned for the...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Growing up, Kevin Knox II watched videos or listened to motivational tapes during car rides to and from school so he could learn how to expand upon answers in interviews.That was all by design.His father, Kevin Knox Sr., knew about the spotlight as a...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago